Many Americans deal with mental health issues, and Indiana is no exception. Between March 2021 and 2022, Indiana’s Be Well Crisis Helpline experienced a 86.9% increase in calls.

In an effort to spread awareness and fight stigmas surrounding mental health, the United States recognizes May as Mental Health Awareness Month. During this time, organizations and public institutions come together to educate the public on mental health care and how to support individuals struggling with their mental health.

Senator Stacey Donato said in a recent release, “These stigmas and lack of knowledge of resources can result in communities losing too many individuals to overdoses and suicide. Since substance abuse and self-harm are associated with mental illness, I supported Senate Enrolled Act 84 to help prevent overdose and suicide-related fatalities in Indiana.”

SEA 84 requires the Indiana Department of Health to produce a report that tracks, by month, the number of suicide and substance abuse-related fatalities by county, the demographics of each victim, and the method of suicide or overdose. In doing so, the state will receive better data to make informed public policy decisions in an effort to curb suicide and overdose-related fatalities as well as to better help individuals in need of mental health care. 

Improving mental health can seem like a never-ending battle. If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, call 221 for help or click here for resources.